Privacy is the New Celebrity

Josh Rosenthal on Why We're Living in a Modern Renaissance - Ep 13

December 16, 2021
Privacy is the New Celebrity
Josh Rosenthal on Why We're Living in a Modern Renaissance - Ep 13
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode, we're doing things a little differently. MobileCoin presents: The Crypto Rennaissance! On December 10th, 2021, MobileCoin hosted a conference at a repurposed masonic lodge in San Francisco, featuring a lineup of talks and panels exploring the cryptographic revolution. Today on the podcast, we're featuring a talk by Josh Rosenthal, a medieval history professor turned venture capitalist. Josh explores the dramatic changes the world experienced during the 14th-century renaissance, how Martin Luther's printing press created a memetic revolution, and why historians will look back at our current time as the next major historical renaissance. Josh Rosenthal's talk is followed by a short interview with MobileCoin CEO Josh Goldbard.

Speaker 1 (00:05)
Welcome back to Privacy is the New Celebrity. I'm your host, Joshua Goldbard. And this week on the show, we're doing something a little different. We just hosted an amazing event at MobileCoin: a conference focusing on the cryptographic revolution, the Crypto Renaissance. We hosted an incredible panel of guests. And so for those of you who weren't able to attend, we'd love to share some of their brilliant ideas with you here on the podcast. What you're about to hear is Joshua Rosenthal. Josh is a medieval history professor turned crypto VC.

Speaker 1 (00:39)
Here he is speaking about the origins of the Renaissance at the Crypto Renaissance Conference on December 10, 2021 in San Francisco. You'll hear about Martin Luther using the Gutenberg printing press to distribute memes at a level that society had never seen before. I'll turn it over to Josh and a little bit of commentary from me at the very end.

Speaker 2 (01:08)
So first of all, thanks for not only having me, but doing this. The Crypto Renaissance is real. It's not a meme. It's not made up. It's not promotional. It's actual, literal and historical. And you get to not only witness it, but witness it, knowingly today and not only witness it, but participate in it, which is significant. It's an odd historical fact that people who live to see the greatest transformations of any time tend to appreciate it, or they're the least aware of it. And so today we have an epic opportunity to do something meaningful and to not only help shape the outcomes of the world, that's going to be also to help mitigate unintended consequences and make a better world.

Speaker 2 (01:51)
You get those opportunities rarely ever in history. And so let's go ahead and do that today. So why should you listen to anything I have to say? I am a PhD in late medieval and Renaissance history. Fulbright, Sorbonne, University of Paris. Blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Spent decades working with these documents we're going to talk about. And so what I'm saying this. I'm not saying this haphazardly. There's real historical reasons to think this is a Renaissance. There were dozens of Renaissances before the last one.

Speaker 2 (02:19)
We've just forgotten about them all because the last one was so bright, it eclipsed all others. And so too, this crypto Renaissance will eclipse the last one when we in the future say the word Renaissance. We won't think of Florence, or we won't think of any of the wonderful things we saw today. We'll think of now. That's a crazy claim to make. But I'm going to try to do that in just a couple of minutes. And then we'll have a conversation about some of these ideas that I introduce.

Speaker 2 (02:42)
But in order to do that, I need to introduce you to someone who's going to seem very odd but is fundamentally truly similar to you today. And that is medieval. You. And so medieval you, you may or may not recognize yourself in the mirror but medieval. You. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different time or in a possible world, a different reality? Statistically speaking, medieval, you is a farmer. You're working dusk until dawn for subsistence, and it's hard. And you do it every single day.

Speaker 2 (03:14)
You've done it year after year. Your parents did it.

Speaker 3 (03:17)
Their parents did it. Their parents did it. Their parents did it. Their parents did it. Their parents did it. Their parents did it. Their parents did it.

Speaker 2 (03:22)
And about four more sets of those, that's who you are. You aren't able to accumulate capital or wealth. It's land. And you don't have rights to that. You don't really have rights to coin. You can't spend it. There's things called sumptuary laws that limit how you can spend your money, much less transact. If you had an idea to change this, you wouldn't be able to communicate it. You can't read. You can't write. The documents of power are in a different language. That's privileged. And even that's in siglia that only certain people can read.

Speaker 2 (03:57)
These two things form your identity. And it's been static for 1000 years. No exaggeration, no hyperbole. You are a farmer and your name is farmer. You are a Smith, and your name is Smith. And that's who you are in one world, your world is fundamentally hierarchical. We saw these images earlier today. Also, note, this is a pyramid. And where are you looking at it? You're at the bottom looking up. That's no joke. That was my intention. When they built these things, they did it to communicate a message.

Speaker 2 (04:28)
They're going to reinterpret it. And I realize I'm mixing Renaissance and Reformation. But I'm doing this intentionally for a point I'll make a little bit later. This is the best artistic impression of their world view. There is the divine. There are Saints. There are the papal seat. There are Cardinals, Archbishops, bishops, curates, preylates, Deacons, sub Deacons, priests and 50ft of shit. And then there's you. Your political reality is the same. There's the Holy Roman Emperor, arch, electors, electors, upper noblest, lower, no blast city, regional Magistrates, city manage another 50ft.

Speaker 2 (05:08)
And that's you looking up. That's your reality for a thousand years. That's what I mean by hegemony. That's where you are on the Eve of the Renaissance and Reformation. That's where you were. You were medieval. You couldn't communicate currency. You couldn't pay for anything. You couldn't accumulate wealth or pass it down. You had no opportunity to change your reality. You wouldn't be able to communicate and to organize to do something around that. And that was both those two axes sealed your identity. Now, of course, that's not us today, right?

Speaker 2 (05:40)
We're very different. We're not medieval. We're smart. We're modern. We're scientific. Maybe. So if one word describes your world, it's permissioned. And that was then. Now it's very, very different, isn't it? Right. We're smart. We have science. We're about ready to get rid of this material stuff. We're going to transcend to the Metaverse, right? You're not going to have to deal with any of this anymore. The thing about it is, though, medieval, you wouldn't have realized that they were permission. You would have no idea. It never would have entered your mind that you were at the bottom of that hierarchy.

Speaker 2 (06:14)
You only see it now. It's the air you breathe, just like if you talk to yourself ten years ago and said, hey, join a Dow. You couldn't have done that. You wouldn't have mentally been able to understand the concept, and you wouldn't have had the technology available to do it. Value. You can do whatever you want with your money, right? Yeah. Maybe your Robinhood account. Maybe it looks like Robinhood is too fresh. Let's say your Fidelity account. That's real, right? Your Fidelity account. You think you own that stock?

Speaker 2 (06:45)
You don't own that stock. You own an IOU from that middle man. They can take that at any time. But you can spend your money with your card if you use an American. I shouldn't say the name. If you use certain credit cards to purchase tickets to an event like a crypto event have had this happen to me? Bitcoin Miami for a team member. They won't process it when you get on customer service. They say we know it's not fraud. We don't like the content of the event.

Speaker 2 (07:15)
So we're not going to process that. That's not a joke. Communication. You can communicate anything anytime, right? Until you get deplatformed. That's for those crazies. That's not for us, right? Historically, that doesn't tend to work out so well. But maybe they won't do that at any layer of the stacker protocol. Maybe it'll be the broadcast we had Arab Spring. That won't happen again. They know how to cut the cord. The broadcast layer on Web two is gone. Even if I still am able to communicate, maybe they'll do something worse.

Speaker 2 (07:47)
Maybe they'll let me keep talking. They'll just harvest the fruits of my work and mine it for their product. They'll transmute me alchemaically into their product. Both these things fuse in my identity. Can I do it? I cannot do it. I can do it. So at the Eve of the Renaissance, at the end of the late Middle Ages, medieval, you just like you today has no idea that you're in this kind of bondage that you are fundamentally permissioned. Only now are you beginning to see the opportunities that are out there and understand the true significance of the word Renaissance.

Speaker 2 (08:21)
So what happened? What happened last time as a historian. And this is why I'm no longer a historian. And this is why I'm a repentant academic trying to tone for my previous sins in the Academy because I'm going to use an image to help people understand things. And you're definitely not supposed to do that. I see history as a pendulum swinging back and forth between aggregation and disaggregation. It's a model. It's a heuristic construct. It's like making an atom out of Macaroni. It's not the thing itself.

Speaker 2 (08:50)
It's an image. But when you swung from aggregation, where you were at the end of that cosmic pile of shit to where you are today, still in it. You just don't realize it as it starts to swing back. How does that happen? Is it means of production? I don't think so. Is it great men with great ideas? I definitely don't think so. I haven't met a lot of them. I actually think it's communities making history. And that sounds cool. Like something you put on your VW bus.

Speaker 2 (09:17)
But I mean, that very specifically, in a way that they create history through vectors of technology, not just any technology, not like certain hedge funds saying it's just 19th century cars and telephones. I mean, specifically through decentralized technology, the powers and decentralized technology. And it works through those axes. Value medieval. You wasn't aware, just like medieval. You out there who aren't here aren't aware that half a continent away, some guy was doing that Renaissance thing, and he rediscovered. He went back to the source of Ad Fontes.

Speaker 2 (09:49)
And he came up with this crazy idea of ledger based accounting. He actually rediscovered it from plenty in North Africa. He dusted off a buck and Bam. And it was magic. It was literal magic, just like when they rediscovered the zero. It was metaphysical ability to instantiate reality. It was literally debit and credit and long story short transactions, loans, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. And the creation of a new class shopkeepers, proto Mercantile communication. The printing press was a really bad idea. Every VC.

Speaker 2 (10:23)
I guarantee every VC would have kicked Gutenberg out of their office on Sand Hill Road. Who's going to bring a protocol to market when only 5% of the people use it? Only 5% were literate. That doesn't make any sense. That's disastrous. That's the first thing you learned to get your Harvard MBA, isn't it? The crazy thing is that the decentralized technology has power in and of itself, and the community adapted around that. So you can't read. We think of Gutenberg's big Bible. Most of it was fluke shrift, and it was a big Broadsheet with an image.

Speaker 2 (10:57)
New technology, medieval. You've never seen art. You haven't seen it. You haven't seen a window, you haven't seen glass. You haven't even seen your own reflection unless it's raining in a puddle. And now all of a sudden, you see these sheets of images by Drew and Lucas Chronic the Elder and they're showing you stuff. It's exposing art to the masses and reinterpreting reality. And what the content they released was toppling this. Hegemonic tower down. Martin Luther accounted for over 50%. One guy of stuff printed in any given year.

Speaker 2 (11:30)
That makes Stephen King like an amateur. Right? Think of it. And what was he doing? Yes, he did. Technical, academic, philosophy, ontology epistemology, technical, religious things. We're not so into anymore. But he also did something else where he basically started shit posting with memes, and he was really good at it. He employed these awesome artists that we love to essentially load up with semiotic charge that the hegemony was illegitimate. And he used these two types of decentralized technology to unwind it. So what happened within one generation, the early adopters, those guys were known as Medici.

Speaker 2 (12:08)
They took the papal seat and they took the throne of France. Bam, they were new on the scene. And within one generation, there's literally hundreds of thousands of new shops. You're no longer a farmer. You can open up a shop on a microphone. And that idea came to you in print that you read. And rather than just having art and the Holy that you don't have access to the Medici and everyone participating in this movement, didn't it grossly take their wealth and buy their way into society?

Speaker 2 (12:34)
That's not true at all. That's undergraduate stuff. That's not true. What they actually did was they reinterpreted their reality. There was Holy and there was profane. And they basically said the meaningful stuff isn't locked away from the world. It's meaningful to participate in the world with your job, your business, your family and your community. That's why you see that ubiquitous fruit bowl because there's value and meaning and sacredness in the everyday and the mundane. So anyway, the other thing I should say is that the art actually reflected the technology at the time.

Speaker 2 (13:10)
And so that print was new. You'd seen it. Medieval art was 2D flat symbolic. And when you saw the things you saw today that Josh presented, they were like AR VR. They're absolutely unreal. They cause you to think about reality differently. So today we have a similar choice. Can we take steps towards Whoa, now not even touching it. Talk about magic if history repeats and it tends to do this. And again, this isn't a roadmap. But this is what tends to happen. History and wines, community, hegemony and wines community makes history, and they use decentralized technologies along a certain heliology a certain path.

Speaker 2 (13:48)
First they start with finance because that's the most value. Then they move into culture, which is community, creating goals and values and organizing through those communication protocols, then work the mechanisms to instantiate that in the real world and then education and edu to propagate it. And then finally IRL, which is really kind of silly to talk about the Metaverse in those terms. But the idea is that crypto becomes everything. We don't think of it differently, just like there's not internet funds and internet companies. It's everything.

Speaker 2 (14:17)
It's decentralized economic and social coordination engines, powering everything and the Metaverse in that sense, with NF TS as contracts for things, synthetic and things in real life act as bi directional two way doorways that let you work in the synthetic world, enjoy the fruits in the real world work in the real world, enjoy the fruits and synthetic world. And so we aren't floating off to space. We're rather opening up new worlds just like print dead. You had never thought of an imaginary idea or a story or a novel.

Speaker 2 (14:45)
And now these books are opening up new worlds and so too today. So if you're interested in this stuff, there's no way I'm going to be able to scan through this, but there are 9.5 CCS giving you more detail about this. We'll make the slides available. And for people who are interested in going through more of this, there's things on politics and nation state and what happened. Talk about Bow, Treyard and Foucault and Chardan. If you're into that sort of stuff. Oh, man, we could do that all night.

Speaker 2 (15:12)
There's a bibliography for folks that are still interested in reading things. There's definitions for your friends and family because of course, you guys know everything and there's more. There's more of this sort of stuff and talk elsewhere. This is an example of Lucas Chronic, the Elder and the awesome Renaissance painter, and by the way, they always put themselves in the paintings very subtly. So this is my homage to this, although you have to admit it does Barry's striking resemblance in form and function. This is also the same guy.

Speaker 2 (15:50)
This is him shit posting with a meme. Lucas Chronic the Elder, the guy who did that is Luther's Bro, the bar Tavern brawling guy who's doing this on a woodcut. And what they're saying, this is what caught the world on fire. They basically said, hey, you're giving us papal Bulls telling us what we're doing is wrong and that's fire and brimstone pouring out, and they did what all good people fighting hegemonically and how they express resistance. They pulled down their pants and they flatulated in the general direction of the figure.

Speaker 2 (16:20)
That's a fancy academic way for saying farted and the other picture inside the level of blasphemy. I'm giving you a lot done, pack. We're done in a minute. And then when they got really crazy, they showed their adversaries being birthed or being pooped out by demons. There's a Medusa demons suckling one of their adversary. I can't emphasize enough. The world was ending. This is absolute chaos, which takes us, I guess, at the end of the presentation. So try that one more time. Always available to chat.

Speaker 2 (16:48)
The thing I'd leave you with the crypto. Renaissance is not BS. It's actually real. The historical analogies and rhymes are very tight. Usually you never have a chance to witness knowingly, much less participate, and use the tools of history to craft your outcomes, manage unintended outcomes, build community and identity. And so we have fantastic opportunity we've heard about. I'd also like to invite you to exercise responsibility the flip side of the coin. And I'm always happy to chat about that. Thank you.

Speaker 4 (17:26)
We got a couple of minutes. Josh, I just have a couple of questions to further contextualize this just a little bit.

Speaker 2 (17:33)
Can we get applause for? I mean, I don't think anyone understands that what Josh and Mobile Point has done here. Right? Let's not be shy and bashful about this. Thank you.

Speaker 4 (17:43)
Thank you. Thank you. Really? I'm so intrigued by this idea of, like, scalable blasphemy with Martin Luther. It's like the original, sort of, like, mimetic propagation of systems. And just, like, out of scale, it's unimaginable. We have all of that now. One thing I wanted to talk about actually was sort of the ascent of the papacy, the way that the papacy decided to excommunicate the Holy Roman Emperor and the process of that happened there and the way the property rights were connected to that. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Speaker 2 (18:16)
Oh, man. Yeah, we can do that. I guess I should start by saying, when you look at that image, you think it's ridiculous. It's obviously very easy to make fun of the Pope. But the Pope wasn't just the religious figure. He was the foundation of all cosmic and political military, economic property rights, like order in the universe. Right. So when Luther was doing that and saying this whole tower is illegitimate, he's taking a sharp knife with a meme that was virally loaded. It was semiotic and function that had meaning greater than itself.

Speaker 2 (18:49)
It was even memetically charged where there's value associated opportunity to change your life. And he was poking at that source of authority. It's very similar to us saying, money printer, go Burr. We don't have a medieval Pope. We have a USbased Petro dollar. Right? Like. And when we say money printer go Burr, that's us doing the same thing in those four or five words, basically saying that's illegitimate. And so the Pope was much more important than that. So what happened was there was a contest of authority for hundreds of years between the Church and the state.

Speaker 2 (19:19)
If you want to use that between the Holy Roman Empire and between the Pope, and they fought it out. And essentially, the Pope won. And the Pope won in such a big way. He had the Holy Roman Empire begging his forgiveness, literally in rags and penitential garb on the snow, saying, Please, please forgive me because he'd been excommunicated. And that happened around the turn of the Middle Ages, when things got real. And the way the Pope one was when he excommunicated him, it wasn't a matter of personal faith.

Speaker 2 (19:44)
Their reality was supernaturally charged. It wasn't just material. It had connective tissue tied into technology, believe it or not. And so all of the Holy Roman Empire was at the top of his pyramid and all of the bonds of Fidelity, all of the economic contracts, all the chain of transmission, all of the property rights, they instantly dissolve like magic.

Speaker 4 (20:05)
So with one stroke, excommunicating the Holy Roman Emperor, all contract law was dependent on being part of the Church. And so all of the relationships between the Holy Roman Emperor and the soldiers, all of the property rights that were conferred upon the military and the state. They evaporated in one stroke and became the property of the papacy just like that. And then you watch the way that that power moved through the world for hundreds of years and was only disrupted by the power of mimetic propagation from Martin Luther.

Speaker 4 (20:40)
And so we are living in a world right now where we have a lot of very powerful systems in the world, but also an ability to propagate information at a scale that has never existed before. So with one stroke excommunicating the Holy Roman Emperor, all contract law was dependent on being part of the Church. And so all of the relationships between the Holy Roman Emperor and the soldiers, all of the property rights that were conferred upon the military and the state, they evaporated in one stroke and became the property of the papacy just like that.

Speaker 4 (21:17)
And then you watch the way that that power moved through the world for hundreds of years and was only disrupted by the power of mimetic propagation from Martin Luther. And so we are living in a world right now where we have a lot of very powerful systems in the world, but also an ability to propagate information at a scale that has never existed before. If you look at the way that information moves around the world, the way that there is fake news and real news and the difficulty of telling the difference between them, we're at a point in time where information systems are abundant but also difficult to discern whether they are true or false.

Speaker 4 (21:56)
Can you talk a little bit about the way that this is playing out in the world now.

Speaker 2 (22:05)
This isn't being recorded, is it joke?


Speaker 2 (22:10)
That's a much better summary of tying that together. And that's true. The world was unraveling. They literally thought when Drew is doing his apocalyptic dream, and when Luther's showing his four Horsemen, it's not hyperbole. They literally thought the world was going to end right for them. For 1000 years, the divine realm instituted here on Earth was headed up by one guy. And the prophecy said that whenever the Antichrist came, he would take that throne. And Luther was essentially saying he's Antichrist means Satan's grabbed the keys to the Church world's over.

Speaker 2 (22:48)
It's done. So all the art, you see that we kind of don't like to talk about in flight company. The crazy stuff that I thought some of the stuff you showed, it's fascinating. That's what they thought the world was literally going to end. And that seems kind of crazy. But if we take a step back and we talk about that pendulum swinging each and every time the pendulum swings from aggregation, where there's a tight order and we know things, we have a tight epistemology. We know how we know things right in a standard materialistic enlightenment world.

Speaker 2 (23:19)
And we know how things are actually ordered, the ontology of it like how stuff shakes out. When it starts swinging back, everything gets unraveled. There's competing chains, there's competing knowledge, there's competing beings and realities. And we get nervous. It's very uncomfortable. It doesn't feel great. And we naturally get nervous. And that's kind of the price to play. That's the ante to the table when the pendulum starts swinging back. So what we're seeing is exactly what happened at the end of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance and even the previous Renaissances.

Speaker 2 (23:50)
Previously, anytime before, there's a bifurcation of reality. And you don't know what to believe. And what tends to happen is things tend to get even more pluralistic until we become comfortable with it. Which might not be a comforting thought. But future, you 500 years from now, who looks back at current you with some guy like me, some Jackass yapping about saying, imagine you 500 years ago, they're going to think back at you saying, oh, you thought things were so hierarchical. Of course they're pluralistic.

Speaker 4 (24:19)
The thing that I wanted to point out, and I agree with everything you said. But I think the thing I want to point out is sort of an optimistic viewpoint, which is that there are times when the world descends into chaos, and people who enjoy order often will say that this is the end of the world. And then there's a period of time where chaos goes back into order. And there's people who like chaos who say, It's the end of the world. And if you look at the last 100,000 years of human civilization, they're always wrong.

Speaker 4 (24:47)
It's not the end of the world. And so I think this is the sort of beautiful thing that I'm seeing now is just whether you like chaos or order, it goes back and forth. And the only thing that you can do is to be optimistic about the future, optimistic that we will have the possibility for change in society. And to me, one of the things that is most important for the possibility of change is Privacy. It allows us to have the freedom of thought, the freedom of expression.

Speaker 4 (25:14)
If Martin Luther didn't have the ability to create mimetic systems, if the Gutenberg press hadn't been invented, we might still be under a theocracy. And so I think it's really important to me about Privacy. Can you talk a little bit about Privacy in the Middle Ages?

Speaker 2 (25:30)
That's a great point. Something else, he said, just like, let the power of what he said sink in. Right. So the Holy Roman Empire fought with the Pope for, like, hundreds of years. Tens of thousands of men died trying to top them. And that didn't work. It was a meme. It was an image of decentralized technology. It's completely crazy. These things are much more powerful than we might think. And I guess the other thing that you said, which is super important is that it always feels like it's the end of the world.

Speaker 2 (26:02)
That's the price you pay for. When things swing back, one might even take a step back and say, how does it really? I'm using this pendulum swing as an example. You might say, Does it swing? I tend to think it swings up optimistically, right. So we take steps towards self sovereignty, swings back. We take some more steps, more towards self sovereignty. And in this Reformation, so Privacy was always didn't exist. And one of the tools of control in the late Middle Ages and after the Renaissance and after the Reformation, when aggregation struck back and the nation state rose again, the tool of the control that they used was anti Privacy, specifically contracts, like physical contracts.

Speaker 2 (26:42)
If you wanted to own something, if you want to keep your information private, it had to be within a specific geographical sphere around you, and you didn't have access to that. You couldn't control it. In fact, you weren't even allowed into it. And if they wanted to see something, they could seize that document. It wasn't portable, you couldn't touch it. And so that's also why I think Privacy in terms of the communication protocols, even Privacy in terms of having some of the NFTs is not just pixelated cats, but like on chain rights for this is fundamentally significant in that the war that's going to happen or the battle that's going to happen.

Speaker 2 (27:16)
I honestly don't see. I want to take a step back. When the nation state rose up again, the tool they used was observation for control. A lot of people think that it's only the belligerent nation States. They have to beat their people around. That's not usually how it goes. If you have to beat your people around you as a nation state, get an F. That's not good PR. And it's not good for your economics. If you have to threaten them, you get a C. That's pretty good.

Speaker 2 (27:42)
If it doesn't even enter their mind, they get an A. How would you do that? What kind of panopticon laden society with observation control would you need to be able to create that state? You'd have to craft language, you'd have to craft identity, and you do that around observation. That's essentially what the height of the nation state. I mean, us today, starting out with, like, post Renaissance and Reformation and Louis and the Sun King and all this sort of stuff. They observed everyone, everything was subject to control.

Speaker 2 (28:09)
You didn't control your own documents, your own finance, your own communication, and the rights to anything was physically proxied by someone else other than yourself. A lot of political historians say, hey, even the idea of, like a nation in control, that was something that you never would have thought of. Medieval. You wouldn't have known that you were a citizen of a nation that didn't exist, right? You belonged to village. You belonged to the community. You belonged with other people when they wanted to control. They said, hey, there's a thing called a nation, and you're a member of it, and you had no choice, and you're born into it.

Speaker 2 (28:37)
And that gives us the rights to view anything anywhere. And you the rights not to do anything anywhere. And that became the locus of identity. I view myself foremost as a German, as French, and as it became global in this sort of age of exploration. And so the interesting thing about crypto, particularly with this Privacy context, is that the political theorists will say, what is a nation? A nation is an imagined community is the technical language. And they say it's an imagined community governed by consensus, instantiated by currency and contract, excluding Privacy.

Speaker 2 (29:11)
And so that's actually what crypto is. Nation 2.0 able to control that Privacy. And so I think the battle isn't just for regulations or even politics. I think the battle is that the reason why nation state gets nervous is because this is coming in a fundamentally different way. It's not AI giving asymmetric advantage to the viewer and Foucault's panopticon able to see everything. It's actually crypto giving asymmetric advantage to the little people all along the long tail to have asymmetric advantage against that. Ai is coming for your job.

Speaker 2 (29:43)
Crypto is coming for your identity and your soul, and that will be protected through you controlling your identity with absolute self sovereignty. I don't know if that's what you're going for.

Speaker 4 (29:52)
That's a perfect way to close this out. I just want to say on the final point that we talk often, we heard a lot of conversations about self sovereignty with crypto, and I think there's an element of that. But what I actually think self sovereignty is a form of self actualization. It's the ability of people to organize into economic systems that are for larger commercial constructs than have ever existed before. The scale of opportunity in crypto is unlike any financial system we've ever imagined before. And I for 01:00 A.m..

Speaker 4 (30:21)
I'm really excited for that tomorrow. Josh, I want to thank you so much for your time today.

Speaker 2 (30:25)
Thank you.

Speaker 1 (30:36)
That was Josh Rosenstall, a medieval history professor turned crypto VC, talking about the origins of the Renaissance at Crypto Renaissance, a conference we hosted in San Francisco last week. I hope you enjoyed it. We'll be featuring more incredible speakers from this event in future episodes. Thanks for listening. And don't forget to subscribe to Privacy is the New Celebrity on Apple or Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. For the full archive of podcast episodes, check out where you can find our radio show every Wednesday at 06:00 P.m..

Speaker 1 (31:07)
Pacific. It's also where you can find every episode of this podcast. I'm Joshua Goldbard. Our producer is Sam Anderson, and our theme music was composed by David Westfax. And as we like to say at MobileCoin, privacy is a choice we deserve.